UBS eases advice on Wacker Chemie on slowing sales momentum

18 October 2010 12:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--UBS on Monday downgraded Wacker Chemie from “buy” to “neutral” but said it remains a "favourite" solar stock.

The shares had been flagged up by the bank earlier this year based on the Germany-based producer's strong polysilicon position and the quality of its chemicals portfolio. The shares have risen 23% to date this year and are now close to fair value, UBS said.

The bank said it expected Wacker to announce a 10,000 tonne polysilicon plant in the US in the first half of 2011. Further capacity expansions would make it more positive on the shares, it added, while a weak semiconductor cycle would make it more negative.

The bank’s analysts in Asia have downgraded their 2011-2012 estimates for the sector and expect the next semiconductor down cycle to start in mid-2011.

UBS’s European analysts expect slowing momentum in chemicals in 2010, however. “We believe restocking is complete in the silicones and polymers divisions,” they said in a note to clients.

The bank expects Wacker’s silicones division sales to rise by about 20% this year, with polymers division sales up 11% and biosolutions sales growth of 25%.

Wacker Chemie shares were down 2.91% at €145.30 at 13:16 Central European Time on Monday.

($1 = €0.71)

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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